Since becoming single Moinarc has visited a few online dating web sites. They are interesting, fun, and depressing.
Interesting because of the variety of people involved in the web sites: all ages, sizes, and appearances. Many are – or claim to be – quite accomplished in their lives. Many of them, like Moinarc, are divorced. All the people are lonely and, yes, that includes Moinarc too.
Online dating sites are fun. Chatting someone up online is cheaper than meeting them at a bar, and sometimes a level of intimacy develops, even in cyberspace. The cybernames are sometimes hilarious. Women have a tendency to put a “4U” at the end of their names: Dreaming4U, Li’l Dimples4U, Big Blue Eyes4U, Sweet and Sassy4U, and – well, you get the drift. Moinarc doesn’t know if men have similar tag lines because Moinarc isn’t looking at their profiles.
Moinarc has met three cyber friends in person. All three of them misrepresented their physical appearance by posting pictures they no longer resembled. The first Moinarc was willing to overlook in deference to female vanity: she was more than just “a few pounds overweight”, unless a few pounds means thirty. Yet she has many good qualities, and is an accomplished and talented woman. She and Moinarc dated for a few months, and are still friends.
The other two were worse. They had published real pictures of themselves, but they no longer resembled the pictures. This is dishonest, but Moina’s reaction is pity and not anger. After all, Moinarc is in the same boat with all his cyberfriends: lonely, wanting human contact badly enough to look for it in cyberspace, and hoping that casting an image of yourself into the void will make the universe respond favorably.
People are people, so cyberspace is no more honest than the real world. Not that the people involved are committing crimes: thankfully, most of them are not. But online dating is a chimera: for every well advertised couple that love each other (at least for a time) there are one hundred who find nothing but dust, ashes, and the same smothering sense of isolation that drove them to online dating in the first place.
Lonely? Get over it. Get over yourself. If you can’t resolve your loneliness, learn to endure it. No matter who you get to know, you’re still stuck with yourself.
At least this is what Moinarc tells himself when he looks in the mirror.